Hieron Nollerute Character in Challaria | World Anvil

Hieron Nollerute

Write about a great thinker in your world and the impact they had on society.

Famed for his incisive thought and brilliant ideas, Hieron courted controversy through his life and rarely converted his ideas into action, often leaving others to garner the glory for inventions that were his, at least for the inspiration even if others had to work out the practicalities. His greatest achievement was a better thought process for testing new ideas to see if they were worth following.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

Born in Bilverton Hieron was not seen as someone the world would take much note of. A fair mind, but no application was the view those tasked with his education. While apprenticed to a button maker he took an interest in competitive disputation where imagination and quick thinking overcome the gaps in his knowledge. Uninterested in button making he quit the trade and moved to Mariv-thip where he made a reasonable living as a semi-professional disputant.
During some of these disputes he came up with a number of ideas that sparked the interest of some of the leading tradesmen but which he lacked the application to develop their potential - in the popular mind these became the work of others though around the guilds and learned societies of Mariv-thip his contributions were known and acknowledged. During this period he came into the patronage of Prince Habrich.
Prince Habrich had two passions in life (if you leave his wife and lovers out of the equation) - the Square Game, played in Abran’s Square and the exploitation of his estates. These two passions were aided by Hieron’s input and established his popular reputation as a man for really neat ideas and the useful application of knowledge.
He was always more interested in the process of thinking and developing an argument with examples that people could follow than actually bringing his ideas to completion and took pride in developing other’s abilities at competitive disputation. Devising a number of oratorical techniques and logical approaches to lead ones opponents into self contradiction.
In late middle age he developed an interest in Truth and was, in the closing years of his life, a leading member of the small community of the Truthful in Mariv-thip.
His lack of interest in the practicalities of what he thought were, in a way, the cause for his death as in a digression on the ideal government offended the Emperor Hulivar the Short and, having declined to retract his words, the Emperor sealed his death with the line “If you will not take back the poison of the mind which you have spoken, then take instead the poison of the body”.

Personality Characteristics

Vices & Personality flaws

Hieron was a renowned hypochondriac, at one time or another suspecting himself to be suffering from most, if not all of the diseases and disorders known to the medicine of the time. Whilst this informed a large part of his legacy it does make some of his favoured cures questionable as if it was only personal experience that supported them there is little certainty that he actually suffered from the ailment.
Throughout his life he had difficulty in maintaining close personal relationships due to his tendency to fall into technical disputation over trivialities.


Hieron’s legacy in popular culture is limited to the projects that his patron caused to be progressed in his name, though he is widely revered by a number of technical specialists for his approach to generating useful ideas from the available information. These tools continue to be associated with his name in legal and disputative circles and his name is often used as a rebuke to those who do not deliver on the promise of their proposals for want of a bit of effort.
Of the two well known projects associated with him, it is the understanding of and preventatives for rootsickness that have most marked the lands of Marivar for they turned a foodstuff for animals and desperation into a staple for the empire.
The thought processes of Empiricism were probably more important, even though less immediate for though they had little influence on the empire through a lack of appeal to the governing classes, they did have an impact the societies that emerged from the fall of the empire, both in Marivar and in Tarusia where the methods have been widely adopted.
Heiron Supporting the World With His Mind

Photo by Ed Andrew, architectural detail, Crescent Road, Worthing
728 Empire Years
793 Empire Years (aged 65)
Circumstances of Death
Executed by public poisoning shortly after the election of the Emperor Dr'Alluth after a digression in a competitive disputation questioned the perfection of the empire’s system of government.


His greatest intellectual legacy was the thought process he identified for improving the qualityof knowledge by attempting to find falsity or contradictions in an idea. In one of his few politicly sensitive moments he called this Empiricism, for it's potential use in improving the empire's condition. Alas the good this did was undone by the method's practitioners actively looking for ways that hte empire was broken. In a paranoid state this is seldom a good idea and made the method unpopular with many of the ruling elite.

On Competetive Disputation

A form of debating popular in the mid to late period of the Empire and still carried on in groups, town and cities influenced by the Empire’s cultural heritage. A dispute traditionally began with one party challenging the other “I put it to you, sir [or as it may be, madam] that ...” before outlining their position. The challenge would be accepted with the response “Sir [or as it may be, madam] I refute you thus ...”. The dispute would continue until one party contradicted themselves with any audience encouraged to call out such contradictions. Amateur practitioners would often focus on prevarication and ambiguous statements which was frowned upon as bad form - an effective defensive tactic but hardly the way to win a debate. One of Heiron’s tricks was to take three such statements and show that whilst any 2 might be consistent the third implied a contradiction.

Roofing Abrans’ Square

One summer when the days were long, hot and bright the conditions in the square were becoming intolerable for want of shade. Attempts had been made to erect screens from the tops of the walls but these cast little shadow and that moved with the sun. One evening at a dinner given by Prince Habrich, Heiron was discussing the human eye with a fellow diner and his thoughts turned to the iris. In a few moments he sketched out an arrangement by which a noose could be made to draw segments of a roof together to cover most of the square’s stands and keep the imperial box in the shade all day.
The idea had merits and the prince was able to keep Hieron’s attention on the subject for a few days by pretending to doubt it and deliberately misunderstanding Hieron’s plans in innovatively strange ways for Hieron to have constructed a scale model and ironed out most of the problems. Over the winter prince laid his plans and the roof was constructed overnight before the biennial Square Game tournament, for his “thinker” the respect and thanks of the crowd, carrying as it did the legend around its fringe “For your shade, give your thanks to Prince Habrich who erected it and Hieron Nollerute who imagined it.” To many it was colloquially known as the Nolleroof.  

Claying of Sweetroot

Prior to Hieron’s contribution, Sweetroot was animal fodder and desperate times on account of the dangers of Rootsickness. Following a dispute of the feeding of the empire, Hieron looked closely into the subject of rootsickness theorised that green clay could be effective as symptoms similar to rootsickness were observed in livestock fed for several years on sweetroot but not in areas where this mineral was found. He knew of the clay being used to treat food poisoning and interested Prince Habrich is this, for the feeding of peasants was a constant concern for large land owners; with Habrin’s prompting Hieron developed an experiment to test the effectiveness of treating with clay. The results were positive and prompted further refinement of the techniques to give the methods we see in use to this day.
Heiron's approach was a first for study in Marivar for his background in disputation and the focus on finding contradictions and inconsistencies led him to approach the subject from the point of disproving the idea - look for how it could be wrong and test to see if it is wrong that way. If it isn't then look for another way to be wrong. If it is wrong, can it be fixed or is it time to start again. This approach he called Empiricism, after the empire he served and it has remained in use ever since.    
And the moral of this story is that behind every great thinker renowned in history is a great doer who put their ideas into action and showed them to be right. Sometimes they are the same person; Hieron was a pure thinker.


Please Login in order to comment!